Today, we discuss the topic of homemade greenhouse gardening. Greenhouse for Home gardens: I believe gardeners are greedy by heart as once they start growing vegetables or flowers or fruits on their own the more they sow more they want to reap. A gardener always wants to see its garden lush green, plants flourishing filling scent in the air, branches loaded with fresh colorful fruits and vegetables. But what about extreme winters and summers that make your garden almost barren and your plants almost dead. As I said gardener is greedy by heart in order to have year around vegetation the concept of science and greed of gardeners have come up with ideas of a greenhouse. While greenhouses were once only used by commercial farmers, they are now a common sight in backyards and home gardens around the world.
Now everybody must be wondering how to build a greenhouse at home? A greenhouse allows you to extend the growing season so that you can enjoy harvesting fresh produce throughout the entire year. They also help out you to become even more self-sustainable, as food prices rise each year are no rare thing.
So today in this article we will be discussing homemade greenhouse ideas, various factors affecting the choice of greenhouse and points to be taken care of when constructing a small greenhouse for vegetables.
Here are the guidelines for homemade greenhouse gardening techniques, tips, and ideas.
What is Greenhouse?
We always keep looking for effective technology which can advance the productivity, profitability, sustainability of our gardening systems continuously. One such skill is the greenhouse technology. Well said, raising plants is both an art and a science. Your plants not only depend on your art of raising them while they also fight with the adverse environment like in some of the temperate regions where the climatic conditions are extremely unpleasant and no crops can be grown, man has developed methods of growing them providing protection from the excessive cold, which is called as Greenhouse Technology.
Greenhouse Technology is the practice of providing favorable environment condition to the plants. It is somewhat accustomed to guard the plants against the adverse weather conditions such as wind, cold, precipitation, excessive radiation, extreme temperature conditions, insect, pest, and diseases attack.
Typically Greenhouses are framed or inflated structures covered with transparent or translucent material large enough to grow crops under partial or full controlled environmental conditions to get optimum growth and productivity.
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The greenhouse is now being utilized as one of the successful technique for indoor gardening and is favored by experienced growers and newcomers too.
- The yield may be 10-12 times higher than that of outdoor cultivation depending upon the type of greenhouse, type of crop, environmental control facilities.
- Reliability of crop increases under greenhouse cultivation as it provides a controlled environment to the growing crop.
- Ideally suited for growing vegetables and flowers at home.
- You can grow exotic plants
- Provides year-round production of floricultural crops.
- Off-season production of vegetable and fruits.
- In comparison to garden plantation plants are disease-free and insect, pest attack.
- Efficient utilization of chemicals, pesticides to control pest and diseases.
- Water requirement of crops is very limited and easy to control no more flooding your garden.
- Modern techniques like Hydroponic (Soilless culture), Aeroponics and Nutrient film techniques are possible under greenhouse cultivation with proper monitoring.
- The greenhouse not only provides controlled micro-climate to the growing plants it also facilitates a common roof under which you can raise a variety of crop at the same time.
Types of greenhouse:
There are varieties of a greenhouse; each of them is intended to meet the specific needs. There are advantages of each type for a particular application; in general, there is no particular type of greenhouse, which can be constituted as the best. The different types of greenhouses are based on shape, utility, material, and construction are listed below:
- Greenhouse type based on shape:
- Lean to type greenhouse.
- Even span type of greenhouse.
- Uneven span type of greenhouse.
- Ridge and furrow type.
- Sawtooth type.
- Quonset greenhouse.
- Interlocking ridges and furrow type Quonset greenhouse.
- Ground to ground greenhouse.
- Greenhouse type based on Utility
Classification can be done depending on the functions or utilities. Out of the different utilities, artificial cooling, and heating are more expensive they are classified into two types.
- a) Greenhouses for active heating.
- b) Greenhouses for active cooling.
- Greenhouse type based on construction
The type of construction predominantly is influenced by base material, though the covering material also influences the type. Higher the span stronger should be the material and more structural components are used to make sturdy tissues. For smaller spans, simple designs like hoops can be used. So based on construction, greenhouses can be classified as follows:
- a) Wooden framed structure.
- b) Pipe framed structure or PVC greenhouse.
- c) Truss framed structure.
- Greenhouse type based on covering material
Covering materials are a vital component of the greenhouse structure. They have an immediate influence on the greenhouse effect, inside the structure and they modify the air and temperature conditions inside. The types of frames and technique of fixing also vary with covering material. Therefore based on the type of covering material they may be classified as:
- a) Glass glazing.
- b) Fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) glazing
- Plain sheet
- Corrugated sheet.
- c) Plastic film
- UV stabilized LDPE film.
- Silpaulin type sheet.
iii. Net house.
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How Does a Greenhouse Work?
We already discussed that a greenhouse can help increase plant growth and production and even allow you to raise plants that wouldn’t normally survive in outdoor climate. Understanding how the practice works can help you to get the most out of your greenhouse.
Greenhouses Provide Light and Heat
As we are well aware of the fact that plants demand light, warm temperatures, air, water, and nutrients to survive and grow; different plants have different requirements for each of these requirements. Greenhouse functions by providing the first two requirements for your plants, but the facility of last three are up to you.
Greenhouses are found warmer than outdoors because all that sunlight coming in through the clear glass or plastic walls gets trapped and turns into heat when it hits a solid surface, for example, ground or the plants inside the greenhouse. Light is basically a form of energy, which is why plants can use it to perform photosynthesis. The trapped heat warms the air inside the greenhouse and because a greenhouse is relatively air-tight, the warmer air stays inside, raising the temperature.
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The plastic or glass that makes up most of a greenhouse’s structure is favorable for letting in the maximum amount of light. As long as the sun is shining this doesn’t matter because light energy comes in faster than the heat can get out. At night, however, all that heat energy will quickly depart, leaving your plants at lower night-time temperatures. In order to defend your tender plants, you need either to store excess heat during the day or use an artificial heat source at night. For this many types of artificial heaters are designed specifically for use in greenhouses which are easily available online as well as in stores.
Homemade Greenhouse ideas for home gardening
If you wish to have a greenhouse at your own home you can certainly build a small greenhouse at your own and another and much easier way is to buy greenhouse kits which are easily available in various online sites as well as in stores dealing with gardening stuff. These kits are self-sufficient and come along with the base structure and installation instructions, you can also modify your portable greenhouse by DIY and some creativity according to the need of your plants and space.
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For homemade greenhouse as far as the design and structure are concerned, greenhouses are often dome-shaped but they can also show an arched roof or any shape you desire as long it is favoring your plant growth. A backyard grower also has the opportunity to build or buy their own cost-effective growing structures it could be virtually any size, shape or design. Materials used for constructing the walls, known as glazing, can be made of acrylic, PVC, double-layered polyethylene, plastic, fiberglass, or glass. When you are constructing your own greenhouse main objective should be less input and more output you can use cheap greenhouse ideas by using cost-effective building material. Glass does not insulate, however, so it can turn out to be a high-priced way to cover your greenhouse while unfortunately making it less efficient at the same time. It’s also twice the cost of poly weaves and polycarbs. Glass in the higher elevations of your greenhouse also tends to magnify light, which in turn will create hot spots on the leaf surfaces of your plants.
A greenhouse can be a beautifully lit, fantastically green, comfortable and airy space for a variety of your plants. Before installing or constructing greenhouse you must observe climatic conditions of your area. By determining the type of outdoor climate you have, understanding the limiting factors that particular climate imposes on the plant growth and finding the best type of greenhouse structure to overcome those limitations is what all growers shall do first.
Like for region with temperatures of well over 100°F (38°C) year round combined with low humidity. A proven greenhouse structure for this type of extreme climate is actually just a simple tent with poles put deeply into the ground, constructed with high-tensile steel wires to form a basic structure over which a sole layer of fine insect mesh is stretched and secured around the edges.
This forms a shaded and insect-proof structure that allows adequate air exchange to prevent the heat build-up. Inside the setup, humidity can be improved by fogging or misting, which also reduces the temperature often to levels well lower than those of the outdoor environment.
For tropical climate, designs can be as simple as a rain cover or plastic roof with open or roll-up sides covered with insect mesh. In larger greenhouses, the structure is best designed with a ‘sawtooth’ roof layout, which allows good venting of the hot air inside the greenhouse on clear days.
Misting systems and air-movement fans can be used to cool the environment inside this type of structure and movable thermal screens can be engaged to reduce incoming sunlight on bright, cloudless days and—pulled back—to allow maximum light penetration under the cloudy situation.
Despite the type or design of the greenhouse or what plant is being grown, a tall greenhouse structure provides a better environment for plant growth and acts as a buffer against minor changes in external temperatures.
The only high-quality plastic film should be used as shielding material—it should be UV stabilized, with suitably long life and you should make sure that you can get replacement cover for the greenhouse whenever required.
For maintaining the ideal greenhouse temperature and humidity we can protect reservoirs and grow beds simply by covering them up. Leaving nutrient reservoirs and grow beds open in the summer is a bad idea because the grow media, walls, and water will absorb sunlight will heat up your system. Note that covering your grow beds and reservoirs also prevents evaporation which is another strategy for keeping the system cool. If you wish to keep the temperature up objects with the potential to store heat can be kept inside. For example, those water-filled, black-metal barrels designed to absorb heat will absorb heat in the summer (at night) as well as winters.
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The ideal greenhouse for summer can be anything with a diffused cover and good ventilation—preferably, something with roll-up side walls and doors at both ends. Having a greenhouse with a roof vent is also a very good decision; roof vents allow you to release the hot air that can gather in your greenhouse, allowing you to keep the cooler air that stays lower in the structure. On a hot summer day, a greenhouse with a roof vent, roll-up sidewalls, and doors on both ends will allow you to open up, avoid solar gain and in turn cool both the plants and the soil.
Circulation fans are another very important part of a greenhouse.
For maintaining the optimum light requirements you can add a light deprivation or blackout capability to a greenhouse for increasing productivity. Normally when growing outdoors you have to wait for the natural the harvest season. With a blackout cover, though, you can force early flowering.
A light deprivation cover can be manually pulled over the greenhouse and as long as you create the correct light period every day, you should be able to start your harvest long before the usual time period. Internal and external systems for light control are both optional.
Care to be taken when buying greenhouse
When shopping for a greenhouse you have numerous options but keep in mind that price should not be the only aspect you consider. Always look for the product reviews by users, checking things like the thickness of the frame and the type of material used its durability. Make sure the greenhouse can handle the wind and snow conditions in your area as well.
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You can start out with really basic Greenhouses and it can be upgraded over time. If you can’t afford roll-up walls now, add them next season.
The problem with buying your greenhouse from a big dealer is that the catalogs may show an attractive picture of an ideal greenhouse but you might not actually be getting everything that’s in the picture.
Keep in mind that most greenhouse companies sell parts for you to do it yourself. Covers, locking hardware and other miscellaneous parts might be all you need to create a growing area that suits you, so you need to complete your homework before clicking the buy button.
Sanitation and maintenance of greenhouse
Proper cleaning of the constituents of the greenhouse is important in order to provide the optimum environment to the growing plants as they are being cultivated in an almost closed system so there are more chances of infection and disease infestation if the sanitation practices are not followed properly. Following points are listed out for the maintenance and care of greenhouse.
Removal of Weeds
Providing a weed-free environment is one of the most essential steps you can take to keep your greenhouse clean. In addition to competing with your plants for nutrients, water, sunlight, and space, weeds in your growing area can be a truthful source for pest and insects attack. Make sure to uproot them as they appear. Also be watchful for weeds growing outside of your greenhouse as seeds can easily enter growing spaces via the ventilation system, wall cracks and the simple action of opening and closing doors.
Floors, Walls & Ceilings of Homemade Greenhouse
Cleaning your greenhouse or growing area from top to bottom is important. Though this is not always practically possible when you are actively growing, it should be done whenever possible. This will remove debris and hopefully any pest insects hiding in the cracks. The floor of the greenhouse should be cleaned in a greenhouse weekly, if not daily. This is the most likely area other than the plants for insects and diseases to lurk in.
Fixtures of Homemade Greenhouse
During major cleaning of your greenhouse space, fixtures such as fans, and vents should also be cleaned. The fixtures should be wiped down regularly between major cleanings to reduce the incidence of airborne pathogens. Consider doing this monthly, if not weekly.
Tables & Work Areas of Homemade Greenhouse
Like fixtures, tables and work areas in the greenhouse should be cleaned and sanitized frequently. When there are plants on them and a complete clean is not possible, just make sure there is no debris left or soil on them. Between crops, all tables and work areas should be sanitized using a disinfectant whenever you are cleaning the entire space.
Hoses & Watering of Homemade Greenhouse
The first time water is turned on for the day or after long periods of immobility, the initial discharge of water should be directed into the drain. This should be done for 30-60 seconds in order to expel out any sediment present in the line or any insects or pathogens that have set up in the hose. For this reason, prevent the end of the hose from getting in touch with the floor.
When the water is running, manually check the water temperature. During warmer months, the lines that carry water heat up quickly, as a result, can raise the water temperature. Discharging this hot water onto plants can weaken their root system, making them more susceptible to insect and disease infestation. The same is applicable during colder months. Near-freezing water temperatures can shock the root systems of plants that have not been acclimatized to the cold, resulting in stressed plants that are more susceptible to pathogens and diseases.
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Try to avoid giving water on the foliage, especially on cloudy days. This excess moisture doesn’t always evaporate and can provide a good condition for fungi to grow. When irrigation is needed, it should be done in the morning or early afternoon.
It is not recommended to collect spent blossoms, dead plants, and stems and used soil in a bucket to be added later to a compost pile. While this is a commendable practice, a container needs to be emptied on a daily basis. When left in the greenhouse for a prolonged period of time, these materials start to decompose quickly in such containers, especially when closed, and they tend to release unwanted gases which cause a foul smell.
Pots, Containers & Tools of Homemade Greenhouse
Already used pots should be disinfected before using again with a bleach solution or equivalent. All organic matter should be removed prior to disinfecting. Implements such as pruners and trowels and anything that will be making contact from plant to plant should be disinfected with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. For certified-organic growers or those who follow strict organic practices to raise a crop, there are several disinfectants available on the market compatible with organic food production.
That’s all folks about Homemade Greenhouse or Building a Greenhouse on your own at home.
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